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Haruka Playable in Yakuza 5

Five main characters revealed, along with first gameplay details.

Take control of Haruka in the new Yakuza game.

Kazuma Kiryu was already confirmed for main character duties in Yakuza 5. This week's Famitsu reveals the four other main characters: Taiga Saejima, Shun Akiyama, Haruka and Tatsuo Shinada.

Saejima, Akiyama and Haruka should be familiar to Yakuza fans. Yes, the magazine confirms Haruka as a main character, and this does mean she'll be playable. What will happen to her in battle is being kept a secret for now.

The newcomer in the bunch, Shinda, is a former baseball player. He was given a life ban from the game for gambling, but it seems that he may have been innocent. He's currently struggling with debt.

The story will connect directly with Yakuza 4 (Yakuza Of the End was a spinoff). Kiryu (shown in the magazine wearing some slick black threads) is in Fukuoka, where he's become a taxi driver. Saejima is serving a three year prison sentence, when he hears that Akiyama has come to Osaka on business. Haruka has also come to Osaka, having left Okinawa to pursue her dream of becoming an idol. She lives on her own and practices singing and dancing , but it turns out the talent agency she's with has other plans.

An interview in Famitsu reveals that the game has had double the development time of past Yakuza games, and is being developed as something that can be considered a "New Yakuza." The game will have a script/scenario with the greatest scale and dynamism yet seen in the series. Adventure will switch to battle and back seamlessly. The controls have been improved dramatically.

Development on this new Yakuza is at 70%. A PS3 release is planned for December.

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